The Hamblen County Substance Abuse Coalition, Inc. was conceived in 2006 as members of the Morristown City Police Chaplains Corps and the Hamblen County Health Council realized a a great need in our community for an entity that would dedicate its efforts towards the prevention of substance abuse within Hamblen County. With this realization in mind, a collaboration between the afore-mentioned entities along with Stepping Out Ministries, through a $3,000 dollar starter grant from East Tennessee State University, the Hamblen Education Awareness Team, H.E.A.T. for short, was formed as a subsidiary of Stepping Out. The first two years of the entity’s existence consisted of only four members and a very limited amount of funding, an Executive Director for the team would have be hired. In May of 2008 Paul Hyde, a lifetime resident of Hamblen County, was hired on a full-time basis to lead the coalition.
After being hired, the H.E.A.T. Executive Director applied for and received it’s first substantial state block grant in the amount of $50,000 to begin it’s work in Hamblen County. In 2009, the coalition legally changed it’s name to the Hamblen County Substance Abuse Coalition. In 2011, the Executive Director realized the need to see the HCSAC become it’s own entity, gain it’s 501c3 status and become eligible to compete for grants in it’s own name. In 2011, the coalition incorporated, in 2012 received it’s 501c3 status and stepped out from beneath the umbrella of Stepping Out Ministries.
The Hamblen County Substance Abuse Coalition, Inc. has grown from it’s original 4 members to a consistent representation of 30 members. Our annual budget now exceeds $400,000 annually including in-kind donations. As grant funding comes and goes, through the years there is great fluctuation of available funds and future sustainability is always on the mind of the Executive Director. As an example in 2016 the HCSAC lost $77,000 due to the expiration of the Partnerships for Success Grant from the State of Tennessee. We are fortunate that in December of 2019, we gained another $125,000 due to the funding of our year seven Drug Free Communities Grant.